Realtek Releases Drivers for Hackintosh MSI Winds

Sharing similarities motherboards and configurations to a standard Mac, a compiled installation of OS X can be easily installed onto these netbooks with 90 percent of hardware functioning without the need for further tweaking. Even knockoff manufacturers have embraced the unofficial “Apple netbook.” But the stumbling block that prevented netbooks from being truly functional in OS X has always been their WiFi modules.

Most hackers have resorted to replacing the WiFi card with one that is compatible with OS X; however, for the squeamish, Realtek comes to your rescue. Realtek is the provider for the MSI Wind U100 Netbook’s WiFi module. Through a forum post on last week, a poster mentioned that he had received a beta release of OS X drivers for the integrated WiFi module found in the U100, directly emailed from Realtek. This marks the first time a manufacturer has released any drivers for unofficial support of OSx86. Even though the driver isn’t an official release nor is it hosted on Realtek’s website, it is certainly a risky move for Realtek as they are tempting the wrath of Apple’s lawyers by assisting in the hacking of their software. But no such threat has been heard from Apple’s camp as of press time.

The popularity of netbooks has been steadily increasing since their introduction. With their relatively low cost coupled with the current state of the economy, they are seen as attractive alternatives to full priced notebooks. With the development of the Intel Atom processor, low consumption, and portability, these portables has finally hit the mainstream market. Industry analysts have speculated that because of the relative ease to install OS X on an Atom based netbook, Apple will not be releasing one of their own. However, this has not stopped the rumors from gaining ground about a possible announcement at the MacWorld San Francisco event scheduled for early January 2009, which will also be Apple’s last time at the show.

  • velocityg4
    Dang I was hoping this would be for their audio drivers. That way boards that use realtek drivers could actually have full support for sound in/out and surround sound. Darn posting box I can not see anything that I am typing.

    Tom's please just use vBulleting for posts. It seems to work flawlessly in forums I vivisit.
  • hellwig
    Apple cannot sue Realtek for releasing OSx drivers for Realteks hardware products. There is nothing that can stop a consumer from opening their own Macs and inserting a Realtek wifi adapter (this is the consumers right as they own the hardware). Therefore, Realtek can release the drivers under this guise, they are simply supporting the consumers right to add any hardware they wish to their own computer (the only side-affect would be to void the Apple warranty). Unless Apple wants to admit in court that they are a monopoly and actively persue anti-competitive practices, they can't do anything.

    Just because the Realtek wifi module in question happens to reside in a MSI Wind, still doesn't mean Apple can do anything about it. Hell, anyone can right OSX drivers for any hardware they want, even if that hardware can't be physically connected to a MAC. AMD could release OSX drivers for their RAID controllers for their motherboard southbridges. They would never do so, because releasing drivers for an OS that runs on hardware that doesn't support your own doesn't make any sense. But there certainly isn't anything illegal about writing said software. Imagine if Microsoft FORCED all drivers to be WHQL certified, that would never pass, yet it just seems to be assumed as the norm for Apple? Why do Apple users put up with such crap?
  • zerapio
    ^ made a good point with the analogy to WHQL certification
  • Tindytim
    Why do Apple users put up with such crap?
    They don't put up with it, they buy it, and scarf it down.
  • where is the driver?
  • Yeah, you wrote an article about it, at least link to the driver. It'll save many people google searches. Think of it as a way to save Google server time/power consumption.